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  1. #1
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    Of Micros and Men

    I understand the need for Micros to make white goods and other products that can be sold young, bills come due every month, yet some of them seem determined to do it right by aged goods and are going forward by taking a step back and in effect recreating classic styles of traditional Bourbon/Rye standards. Any thoughts?
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  2. #2
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    Well some anecdotal stuff from New Mexico. KGB is our only whiskey distiller and they started in 2009. they make a lot of their operating cash from white whiskey, vodka, absinthe, gin, etc. They do small batches of about 100 gallons, so can pretty much do two barrels at a time. Like many start ups they will source some whiskey so that they can get a toehold in the bourbon and rye market.

    Currently I have a barrel select from a local spirit shop of their "Taos Lightning" straight bourbon, they also have a rye. This particular bourbon is LDI distilled, aged 5 years, but with a slight twist, the last 4 years its been aged in New Mexico at 7000' elevation in a semi open rack house. Its a decent enough bourbon, and I look forward to next year when the first batches of their own 4 year old whiskeys start to be released.

    I personally don't mind the LDI sourcing by some of the start-ups, but I don't like it when they claim it as their own make...

  3. #3
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    Thanks for setting up this thread. My views, summarized:

    1) I would not pump up white dog or whiskeys tasting largely of that - it is not the way to go IMO in the long run, I don't think people will buy them past a certain point of fashion.

    2) I have no issue at all with sourcing fully-aged product until you can make your own, but I agree it is best to be as frank as you are able with the market.

    3) I have no problem with even a permanent, non-distilling producer plan - sourcing and mingling can be creative. But be frank about it and I think in the long run this will help the NDPs.

    4) Experimenting is fine but traditional bourbon and rye evolved over a long period - don't throw out baby with the bathwater.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    I wish the NDPs would look to mingling, lots of opportunity there. Or blending for that matter, there's no shortage of three year old used cask seasoned base whisky in Canada. Good in, good out and no tying up capital in distilling equipment.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  5. #5

    Re: Of Micros and Men

    It is possible to produce good, interesting white dogs. For consumers that don't mind "bite" these options become broader.

    Micros do produce interesting, and sometimes novel flavors, and I think they are good for the industry as a whole.

    My complaint with micros is that most of them have a silly notion that they are going to make money without paying their dues. They produce a product that's only worth maybe $15-20, at best, compared to other products on the shelf but expect people to pay $40-50. I've been more of a sucker in the past and would ante up for the experiment, but years of doing this has made me more selective; just because it's new on the shelf doesn't mean I'll buy it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    Or that it's any good. I wonder why don't they just buy ready made quality white stuff from MGP, seems like they could buy it cheaper than make it. Of course some finishing in seasoned casks or filtering to smooth it up a bit would make something different.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #7
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Or that it's any good. I wonder why don't they just buy ready made quality white stuff from MGP, seems like they could buy it cheaper than make it.
    with as much deception that many micros employ in their business plan, what makes you think this isn't being done?

  8. #8
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    I have no doubt that some do.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  9. #9
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    Not a micro by definition, but I'm interested to see what will come of the Pearce Lyons' venture, Town Branch Distillery, in Lexington. Given it will take some time, but his track record reflects that once he decides to do something it is head on, first class, with no expense spared.

    He has the background and knowledge (once worked for Irish Distillers) and in a very short period of time has been added to the KY bourbon trail. If I was a betting man, I would be willing put some money on him to do something really special... 'cause I don't even think he's hit his stride yet.

  10. #10
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    Re: Of Micros and Men

    I bought a bottle of town branch and found it drinkable. My notes:

    Nose Vanilla, slight cinnamon
    Taste Sweet up front, a slight rye hit at mid tongue, hint of hot spices like cinnamon, a bit of tofeee.
    Finish Short, a bit of a lingering rye tingle, unremarkable
    Comments This is not a bad whiskey, but at 80 proof there just isnt enough left to play with, its fairly thin and watery, just a very diluted whiskey.
    I think this could be quite a nice pour if it was closer to barrel strength. Give it a 6.5/10, nice re-purposable bottle.

 

 

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